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Hey everyone,

I'm moving into a new house and I am getting a dobie! I've pretty much committed to picking up the runt of the litter, and I was wondering what worries/concerns I should have? I have also read a lot of dobies that were runts end up just fine. I really don't want to wait, and would love to hear from anyone else that bought the runt of the litter (esp a female).

Thanks a ton in advance!
Ian
 

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The dad is 95 lbs, btw. Beast. The breeder is a hobby breeder, only really breeding once a year. Seems OK - but dad is not VWD tested. Mom came out carrier on the high scale (63?)
 

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Hey Ian.

Really, in most well bred litters there arnt 'runt' puppies. Some might be smaller than others or have less bone, which shouldn't make a difference if you just want a pet. On the occasions where there is a puppy with a health issue, the breeders will make the owner fully aware of what this issue is before the sale, how it will or won't affect the puppy as it grows and be there to support the puppy buyer throughout its life.

My boy was the smallest in his litter, but certainly not a runt; happy and healthy as the others just somewhat less bone than some others. Has never affected him. I would personally pass on a runt puppy; dobermanns have enough health issues as it is and to me health and temprament is at the forefront of my concerns.

I don't see any health testing for the father on the advert, just his weight? I would look at a breeder who has more health testing (especially cardio) if it were me, and someone who offers more support to puppy buyers. I'm sure these people love their pets, but they wouldn't be the breeder for me.
 

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if someone's selling on a website like puppiestoday, hoobly, ebay classifieds/kijiji, or craigslist, you should run FAR FAR AWAY.

good, responsible, reputable breeders have done a full barrage of tests on BOTH parents before breeding them. they've put in the work to title their dogs in at least one venue (might be a sport, might be the conformation ring). they've done everything they can to prove their dogs should be bred BEFORE breeding them.

i notice they mentioned the CGC. that's barely enough.

here's a good place to start your self-education regarding the health of the breed and why all those health tests are necessary. unfortunately, the cost of the puppy will reflect these tests, but that's not all you'll get with a reputable breeder. they'll also take care of the cropping for you and they'll stand behind their dogs for the life of the dog. this means they'll be in touch with you regularly...if you can't keep the dog for whatever reason, the dog will go back to them to keep them out of the shelters and rescues. there are plenty of other reasons, too, but it's around 5:30am and i can't think beyond what i've written here.

i assume you're in the Indianapolis area? i know we have members who can help you find a breeder in your area...and if you feel those breeders' costs are too high, i'm sure there's a great rescue near you, too. rescues get puppies from time to time, too! hell, i wouldn't be surprised if at least a couple of puppies from that litter end up dumped in a shelter within the next 6 months.

please, avoid that individual and those puppies. they're what we call a BYB - backyard breeder - and they're in it for the money, nothing else. they don't care about the breed as a whole. with a breed as sickly as ours, anyone should want to go through someone who cares enough to further the breed rather than hold it back.


now, regarding the "runt" of the litter...i would be especially wary in this situation. after my experiences i wouldn't take the smallest in the litter anyway (we lost our boy at 10.5 months to a birth defect, and UPenn agreed it was due to being the smallest and simply not developing enough), but knowing that individual probably won't care if the runt dies prematurely would scare me off.
 

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Thanks for the input, great advice from you both of you.

Health is my main concern. Not really size or etc. So let's say I pass on the runt.

There's another breeder in Ohio (more bloodwork, thorough on both parents) and she has red males/females left. BUT they're almost 12 weeks old already...

Does that make a difference? Or should i get a little bit older, fully healthy pup.

EDIT: I'm trying to get a dog by march 6 to accompany me in the new house.
 

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this other breeder...do they title their dogs? are they doing tests on the hips? heart? at 12 weeks that puppy is still a baby, but i still wouldn't buy one if the parents aren't proven.
 

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this other breeder...do they title their dogs? are they doing tests on the hips? heart? at 12 weeks that puppy is still a baby, but i still wouldn't buy one if the parents aren't proven.

I'll ask today! what if I were to go to a reputable breeder, is average price of puppy 1000?
 

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the lowest i've ever seen for a pet quality puppy from a reputable breeder is $1500. i'd be prepared to pay up to $2k for one.

if you cannot afford this price, please adopt.

i wonder how much research you've done on this breed if things like this are new to you. are you aware of how much work a doberman puppy will be?
 

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I'm aware. I've worked with many working dogs in the past, and have trained thoroughly for the last 5 years. She'll get plenty of attention and guidance, that's not the issue.

I'm just asking from all your perspectives, obviously there is a wide variety of answers out there on the internet. I am familiar with all the health risks, just wondering where things fall on the costs/testing. No, i'm not opposed to spending 2 grand on a dog.
 

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OK - I've called around and found a breeder with healthy bloodlines, extensive tests (hips good, vWD clear, no Z), parents and even grandparents lived long healthy lives.

Puppy cost 1200, which oddly makes me trust this breeder that much more. ALL OF THAT BEING SAID - she's not a runt, so the main topic of this thread my be changing :)

Would everyone agree that I should ignore the runt, available for $600 and local, and go with the healthy pup for double the price? Thanks guys:p
 

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who is the breeder you've found? what titles do their dogs have? how about testing their heart - is the breeder regularly holtering and getting echos done on their dogs? who bred their dogs? how many titled dogs up the line? who bred the sire, and who owns him currently?

seriously...if they're not titling, they shouldn't be breeding, and you shouldn't be buying from someone who is breeding subpar dogs. that means ignoring the $600 local pup, yes.
 

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I would be looking for a breeder that has dogs that are titled in conformation (that's a CH before the dog's registered name). There should be extensive health testing. Hips and vWd are honestly the least of your worries. Statistically about 50% of Dobermans die of DCM - dilated cardiomyopathy. It's a devastating heart condition in Dobermans. Any breeder that tells you their lines are clear of DCM are not telling the truth.

You absolute best chance at getting a healthy, long lived dog is to go to the type of breeder who is carefully doing their best to improve the breed. Most of the time that does involve waiting for while for a puppy - good breeders often have waiting lists.

I can say with confidence to pass on the first puppy, and honestly, probably pass on this other puppy. Generally one phone call isn't going to end with a breeder offering you a pup. There is a fair amount of interviewing to make sure you are a good match for their puppy.

We can help you find a good breeder, but you need to slow down a little bit. Breeders like the ones you are investigating are a huge risk not only in the health area, but also in temperament. It's worth taking the time now to avoid heartache later.
 

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I know you're in a hurry, you want it by March 6th. But please wait until you find the PERFECT puppy.

We've been in our home for years without a dog, but we had remodeling and redecorating and yard work and just wasn't safe for any animal, we didn't have the time when we first moved in. Houses are a LOT of work.

We got put on a waiting list in October of 2013, knowing we would be fully 100% ready and commited come spring. We've met the parents, seen the pedigrees and show titles, and got recommendations from fourms and vetinarians in our town. Our puppy will finally be coming home in May :)

I'm just saying because you shouldn't settle for a subpar dog simply because the timing is 'good'. Waiting a few months would be best if you know you are getting a puppy that has titled parents who are healthy and good tempured.

Just my two cents. This will be our first doberman, so I'm new to this too.

Best of luck :)
 

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I waited almost a year for the perfect pup, and boy is he perfect.

Anyways, yes i would skip the runt and any other dog that comes from a breeder off the internet. There is a list of breeders on the DPCA website that do health testing titling ect..
I'm def going to check that list out. GREAT call. Fort he heck of it I will probably go meet the puppies that are available for 1200. That way I can see where they were raised, what the breeder is like, etc.

And in her defense, she never said I could puchase, just gave me a price and said I'd have to be evaluated. Each puppy comes with eating schedule, list of toys to avoid, treats, a blanket, and a health guarantee. No website, found her through a friend.
 

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I'm def going to check that list out. GREAT call. Fort he heck of it I will probably go meet the puppies that are available for 1200. That way I can see where they were raised, what the breeder is like, etc.

And in her defense, she never said I could puchase, just gave me a price and said I'd have to be evaluated. Each puppy comes with eating schedule, list of toys to avoid, treats, a blanket, and a health guarantee. No website, found her through a friend.
A "health guarantee" is pretty worthless, unfortunately. And I can tell you if you go to meet these pups it will be VERY hard to walk away from them. If the breeder owns both parents it is a huge red flag that this is not a responsible breeder. What is her kennel name? I bet we can give you some feedback.

Truly, you should do some more research first, or you will fall for one of these breeders and you may end up, like so many we've seen here, with a dog that drops dead from heart trouble at 3 or 4 years old, or has a sketchy temperament and can't do any of the fun stuff you like to do with dogs.
 

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Thanks for the input, great advice from you both of you.

Health is my main concern. Not really size or etc. So let's say I pass on the runt.

There's another breeder in Ohio (more bloodwork, thorough on both parents) and she has red males/females left. BUT they're almost 12 weeks old already...

Does that make a difference? Or should i get a little bit older, fully healthy pup.

EDIT: I'm trying to get a dog by march 6 to accompany me in the new house.
In responce to whether 8 weeks vs 12 weeks really makes a difference, I would say that too entirely depends on the breeder. This is an age when socialisation and positive experiences are really important, so it depends on the work the breeder has been doing. If they are a knowledgeable, reputable breeder?, then then absolutely there is no issue with the puppy being with the breeder a couple more weeks as they will be making sure the puppy is getting everything it needs to set it up for the future. If the puppy doesn't get what it needs in this time frame, that can cause all kinds of fear and behavioural issues as an adult.

March 6 really isnt a lot of time, unfortunately. Most good breeders will have waiting lists already for the puppies, with priority given to show and/or sport homes and so there can be a wait for a puppy. BUT it is totally worth the wait :)

In my opinion it's important to find someone who you really get on with as well as liking their dogs, someone who is willing to guide you throughout the life of the puppy to help with any questions. Why not go to some Dobermann club events and see if you can meet some people and chat?
 

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I decided to wait :)

I've found two doberman breeders with waiting lists that have 20 years experience. They show, do obedience, and have a little agility experience between the two of them (both show and do obedience).

I'm not going to mention their names on here, just to avoid any controversy. I know I can trust these breeders after talking with them and I scheduled a meeting to meet their dogs.

It looks like i'll have my dobie in about 14 weeks :)
 
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